Not a specifically Tenerife story, but one which will be of concern to many. There have been several reports of a valid EHIC – European Health Card – being refused in Spanish hospitals with a credit card demanded in its place, and with patients told to reclaim the money on their insurance. Now, the EU is taking legal action against Spain over the flouting of regulations that require the card to be accepted. The EU Commission has formally asked Spain for comment, a required first step for a legal process which could eventually lead to a sanction. This is thus confirmation that the cards must be accepted, and so if anyone finds theirs refused, they should ensure that the rejection is officially recorded.
The EHIC is a free card that provides access for EU nationals to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary visit to any other EU country, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Treatment or medication is free for the patient at the point of use, with costs reclaimed by the visited nation from the home country of the patient.